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Chelsea vs. Schalke 04, 2014 UEFA Champions League: Team news and game preview

Chelsea should have more than enough to beat a crisis-stricken Schalke on Wednesday.

Paul Gilham

It has been almost half a century since Schalke 04 last failed to win any of their opening four games of a new season, with the Gelsenkirchen club looking in a very real crisis at present. They sit 16th in the Bundesliga, and have already been dumped out of the DFB-Pokal by minnows Dynamo Dresden. Pressure is already building on manager Jens Keller, who isn't helped by a massive injury list.

As if things couldn't get any worse, Schalke meet the Premier League leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge as their Champions League campaign gets underway on Wednesday. José Mourinho's side have won all four of their games so far, and are quite possibly the scariest team in Europe at present -- though, admittedly, any team with a roaring Diego Costa is pretty damn scary.

Key player - Diego Costa (Chelsea)

Diego Costa has scored a magnificent seven goals in his opening four Premier League games, firing Chelsea to the top of the Premier League table. The 25-year-old is in outstanding form, and any concerns about him adapting to the English game now look ridiculous. He's the latest in a long line of pure strikers who've excelled at Stamford Bridge over the years, and he has all the makings of a cult hero. You'd be brave to bet against him scoring again on Wednesday.

Key matchup - Julian Draxler vs. Nemanja Matić

If there is one smiling ray of light for Schalke, it's their 20-year-old boy wonder Julian Draxler. The attacking midfielder has cemented his status as one of the top young talents around, and while he's still in blue, there's still a chance Schalke could pull off an upset. He's been used both out on the left and through the middle by Jens Keller this season, though he's quite happy to roam around the final third, wherever he's stationed. Chelsea's deepest midfielder Nemanja Matić -- whose positioning against Swansea on the weekend was occasionally peculiar -- will have to watch Draxler very carefully.

Chelsea injuries and suspensions

Out: None. In doubt: None.

Schalke injuries and suspensions

Out: Joël Matip, Fabian Giefer, Felipe Santana (adductors), Jan Kirchhoff, Sead Kolašinac, Jefferson Farfán (knee), Leon Goretzka (hamstring), Benedikt Höwedes (groin). In doubt: Atsuto Uchida (thigh).

Chelsea have no early selection concerns, which makes it all the more unfortunate that Schalke have an injury list almost big enough for a five-a-side match. Defenders Joël Matip, Jan Kirchhoff and captain Benedikt Höwedes are the latest to be added to the list.

Match Date/Time: Wednesday, 7:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET

Venue: Stamford Bridge, London, England

TV: Fox Sports 2 (U.S.), Sportsnet World (Canada), Sky Sports 1/HD (U.K.)

Online: Fox Sports Go, Fox Soccer 2Go (U.S.), Sportsnet World Now (Canada), Sky Go (U.K.), Sky Go Deutschland (Germany)

Listings via LiveSoccerTV.